Next day we stood up kind of early. I didn’t drink very much the day before, but in spite of that I had a noticeable hangover. I drank lots of water and had myself a couple of painkillers and started to cook porridge (or Brei, as it is called in German) from an old, local recipe from back home. Even though I really tried, it didn’t turn out very well. I suspect that I use the wrong proportions, and shall try it again later, under different circumstances.
Today was the first of the market days, and we had already the day before spied out what pottery we should buy from the potter. He was there last year, and we totally renewed our sets of pottery. This year it was time to do it again. The company bought a cistern containing 4 litres of whatever liquid, and was planning to buy an oil lamp as well as another jug (these two will be ordered at a later date, as we would like to make them a bit special). Me and Elisabeth bought ourselves three different kinds of mugs, among other things a so called fyrpassbägare/vierpassbecher that kinda looks like a four leafed shamrock when you look at its mouth from above. Really neat.
We strolled along the different merchants and had a closer look at each and every one of them, discovering lots of stuff that was new to us. There was a woodworker, doing all kinds of small stuff, like spoons, rakes, turners for frying and so on. Also, there was a guy making crossbow bolts. He was really skilled, using only period materials and methods. I learned a lot from just watching him. Another guy was a silver smith, with some really nice silver bowls and some jewellry. Elvelüüt Hamborch was selling cloth, there was a spice merchant, a needle maker, a guy making points and laces, a bagpipemaker and – the coolest of them all – a guy making parchment by hand, with period materials and methods. He was tanning hides, scraping them, and doing all sorts of things. Then, when the parchment was finished, he and his wife were copying pictures and pages from original manuscripts, of course with period pigments and inks. It sure is special to watch real craftsmen at work. Also, we met several old friends during the day, and had lots of interesting conversations and catching up.
Then it was time for our grand moments. We geared up in our best armour, loaded up our handgonnes and looked plain grim. It was time for display. One of the guys from MiM was leading the display, and told the audience about different types of armour and weapons. As far as my German is concerned, I thought that he was a good tutor, that really could explain things in a good way. Then it was time to fire the handgonnes. We did a fine job firing and reloading, and shot four times in about a minute, to the audience’s awe. We are getting better by the shot, and we steadily develop new ways to make our reloading more efficient. As soon as all the gunners kan get themselves powder containers and their own ramrods, we will be even better. To be honest, most of the guys don’t have their own stuff, and that really is apalling. A good thing though, is that Alex has made a gonne for himself, and Anders has made two. Just a pity that Anders hardly ever comes along to events…
Afterwards it was time for a brief ”shower” consisting of a bucket full of water thrown over ones head. It sure is hot and heavy to wear armour in the middle of the summer, but then again – such is life in the King’s army. The we went shopping again. We needed stuff for the evnings banquette, where every group makes their own speciality and brings it along to the others. I made Swedish pickled herring from an old family recipe a week before the event, and Johan presented it nicely on one of the big plates we had brought with us. He even decorated it with flowers. Before we carried it to the table, however, we fetched Ronnie from the MiMs – he hade been looking forward to the herring since last year, and I had prepared a special treat for him – a real Scanian/Swedish ”Äggåsillamacka” – a piece of coarse rye bread, with sour cream, chives, a slice of egg and topped with a couple of pieces of pickled herring. I offered him three variations, and served him genuine brännvin spiced according to Swedish tradition. At more festive dinners and celebration it is customary that you drink vodka flavoured with herbs and spice along with your food, especially when eating herring. Ronnie was very pleased, to say the least, and I felt (for once :-)) like a good man.
We borrowed a table and a couple of benches from the bagpipemaker, who wasn’t there for the feast, and put our behinds down to enjoy the food. There was lots and lots of food, and I presume we were presented quite a few German treats. Be as it may, it was a fine feast! Historia Peregrini was providing beer and wine, we sang indecent songs, translated word by word by Johan, and our German friends laughed until tears came out their eyes.
The night was closing in, as did the mist. This evening also offered us a total (moon) eclipse, especially beautiful in the fog. Bit by bit, the full moon was being covered with a dark, round shape. Suddenly it was just plain dark, and the mood of the party was changing., maybe not for the worse, but in a special way, for sure. The grass was wet with dew, and I got my blanket to warm my frozen shoulders, as I listened to German jokes and sipped my weissbier. The ladies of our company were especially loud, as they were having a photo shoot with funny faces. I guess we were the last to go to bed that night, together with the Deventer Burgerscap-people, and we slept well until morning.